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In-Game Adverts Could Reach $2 Billion? 41

Via 1up, a story on the Adweek site positing that in-game ads could reach $2 Billion by the end of the decade. The story discusses Massive, the streaming ad firm, and their success in reaching eyeballs. From the article: "Those customers include the majority of the major film and entertainment studios, according to Davis, as well as brands such as Coca-Cola, Subway, Honda, and Gillette. Davis said that Massive was benefiting from an 'overwhelming trend away from mass marketing' that is making the medium's men 18-34-dominated audience more attractive to more brands, even sometimes slow-moving packaged-goods advertisers."
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In-Game Adverts Could Reach $2 Billion?

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  • gaming costs? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Friday April 14, 2006 @11:53AM (#15129882)
    Great! Now that the game developers/publishers are raking in a good amount of money, can they use that to offset my online gaming fee? Didn't think so...
    • If the ads mean i don't have to shell out $2.50 for "armor" on my steed, I'm all for it. But we all know that they're still gonna charge $2.50 for the "armor" but it will be a unique new skin: a nice pepsi-logo slapped on the side of it.
  • "This raid dungeon brought to you by Bawls"

    "This health pickup brought to you by Johnson & Johnson"

    "Server update 1/1/20XX: The ingame auction house has been bought by Ebay Sotheby's"

  • Ugh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Friday April 14, 2006 @12:05PM (#15130000) Journal
    Video Games are going to be the new Cable TV.

    Originally, you were paying for the service. Now you're paying for the service and the pleasure of recieving commercials.

    In-game advertising for online games is a tricky business, because it's trivial to block the IP(s) any advertising is coming from. If it's coming directly from teh game server, users can always modify their client to not display it.

    This drive to monetize everything is really irritating. I personally don't like to bombarded with ads everywhere I go online.
    • Originally, you were paying for the service. Now you're paying for the service and the pleasure of recieving commercials.

      First there was channel flipping, then the DVR. Why do you think it will be any different in a new medium? They will try to captivate us and we will ignore them. The simple truth is that they aren't interested in us. They're looking at the idiot masses.

  • Let them remain blissfully unaware about hacks.They can try advertising everthign they like,not on my computer.
    Even if i have to add a megabyte of new host file entries or write memory patches.Just an old flawed model.
    • The alternative to this is to refuse to play any game with ads in it.

      Still not sure which I'm going to go with. It might be moot anyway, as I've already practically stopped buying new games due to other issues.

      • Of course i don't want to play a game with ads.But if the game is great and has no alternatives on the market?
          what if a game starts advertising in the next patch?
        What if all new games add it?
        Open Source games going to be way popular and active area filling the vaccuum,if this happens.
  • In the next rpg, instead of shops selling potions, why not have this fantasy world be littered with wal-marts with Gatorades to replenish the characters? I won't stay at an inn, I'll stay at holiday inn.
    heck, why ride chocobo's when the local Honda dealership is selling atv's on the cheap! No more casting haste, instead drink a star bucks coffee! No airships, but better southwest airships.
    i wont use magic, i'll use industrial light and magic!
  • I am curious who really started this disturbing trend? I agree with earlier posts that this is damaging to game-play, it kills fantasy realism. (Yes I did just say that.) Can you imagine buing an axe in WOW that happens to be formed from a pepsi symbol? How long until the character models and costumes in games look more like stock-racing drivers or their cars?

    How long has this been happening though? How many games does this really affect? Does this go all the way back to Quake with Nine-Inch-Nails, or was '

    • I don't consider NIN's music in Quake an ad.

      What about product placement in games like Tony Hawk and NFS?
      • by Anonymous Coward
        This makes complete sense to me and actually adds to realism in racing/sports games.

        Most sporting arenas/racetracks/etc. and the contestants there in are laden with advertisements for an exremely broad range of products and services in real life. Leaving ads out of their virtual counterparts would detract from the experience, IMO.

        On the other hand, obnoxiously out of place ads making into just about any other genre of game (FPS, RPG, RTS, whatever) would be completely jarring and detract significantly from
      • They also put a discrete NIN logo on all the ammo crates that had nails in them.
    • Advertising has been around for awhile. The Atari had some Kool Aid game and a few others, including the rare Dog Food Chuck Wagon game. The NES had a few also, YO! Noid, McKids. In the past most football games would make fake ads of their own company and the publisher, but they then started going others as well. As long as it doesnt distract and seem out of place, i dont care too much. But if they do it during a map load or start having links in the UI for the lastest Neo-Station-Wagon or toothpaste its go
  • People stop buying games containing advertisements. licensed titles and product placement will happen, and that is about as far as I can support in any way and only then in games where it makes sense. Not clubbing a lvl 22 snow ettin while seeing ads for Quizno's new steak sub.

    Just like the vocal outrage and refusal to buy games with Starforce DRM caused publishers to stop using it, the same can be done here. Advertising and the commercialization to Hollywood levels of gaming is the worst possible option.
  • I don't see how they are going to generate any sales considering emails to and both bounce.
  • A horrid thing. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lave ( 958216 ) on Friday April 14, 2006 @12:25PM (#15130158)
    Disclaimer: THis is paraphrased from a previous comment on the subject, but I'm leaving soon, and don't have time to write a new one - I hope it still makes sense, and I realise it's a shitty thing to do. Karmna whoring and all.

    We've enjoyed a medium near enough free from advertising. And it is our duty to preserve this. If I pay £40 (and next gen £50) to buy a game, I buy the freedom from ads. You can put them in, but then you must make the game free. There is no middle ground. An XBOX 360 game full of ads won't cost less than some fantasy game that doesn't have them. If you think it will, I am sorry but you are fooling yourself. All it does is succeed in making genres that are not "advertising friendly" less financially viable.

    Just because american TV lost the battle to product placement (as the UK might, if the EU stops product placement being illegal), that doesn't mean it's ok for games to lose too. Because this is what this is - Product Placement.

    And most importantly I think it's fair to say most people who play games on slashdot want games to be seen as art. Want them to be acknowledged as a new , creative and meaningful media. And how can that happen if the people making the game have no fucking respect for their own creations.

    To quote the late, great, Bill Hicks:

    "Here's the deal, folks. You do a commercial - you're off the artistic roll call, forever. End of story. Okay? You're another whore at the captialist gang bang and if you do a commercial, there's a price on your head. Everything you say is suspect and every word that comes out of your mouth is now like a turd falling into my drink." - Bill Hicks

    • From a previous comment I wrote, I didn't steal it.
    • As much as I want to disagree with you, you're probably right. I'd love to see games based in fantasy worlds, or in ages past (WWII) be ad-free, but it's likely not going to happen.

      I think the best we can hope for is an improvement in the quality of games. Some crappy publishers are going to be the first ones to go for this, and advertisers could pressure them to increase the quality of the game in order for it to sell better and thus reach a bigger audience. I don't see Valve jumping on this bandwag
  • No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by keyne9 ( 567528 ) on Friday April 14, 2006 @12:35PM (#15130233)
    Advertisers: Stay out of my fucking game.
    • Re:No. (Score:2, Informative)

      As offencive as this is, I think that this is the overall mood toward ingame advertising. I feel the same way about it, so long as the advertising would be completely out of place. Medieval settings with advertising are almost (not never, sadly enough) ad-free, while product placement happens in a lot of contemporary games. But there is a argument that it does help immersion in a game setting that it makes sense in. I would personally not care if I were playing a swat game and happened to find a coca cola
  • Games featuring in-game advertising should be clearly labelled as containing such advertising. I'd even consider going so far as mandating that there be an easy and well documented method of disabling such advertising if the user doesn't want it.

    Hmm... write my Congressman or start a petition drive. Decisions, decisions... Maybe both...

    • by Anonymous Coward
      What kind of force would the government be protecting you from in this case? Which part of the constitution puts game ads in their purview?

      We could do with less of the government in our lives. Congress reacting to a Pepsi sign in our favorite shooter seems a pretty low bar to set.

      • Sell it in the interest of parental control. Get the CDC/FDA/FTC/FCC involved through the same logic that restricts advertising during children's shows (although hopefully more effectively). Hell, get Jack Thompson involved as a way for him to save face.
      • I don't think it's too much to ask that a product that I tend not to expect there to be advertising in should be labelled as having advertising in it if it does. It might be too much to ask that it be easily removed if I don't want to see it. I'd least like to be able to make an informed decision about what I'm buying.
  • In a game with a contemporary setting, in-game advertisements could increase realism. For example, soda machines are a staple background item in action games. A Pepsi or Coke machine would be more realistic than some brand that doesn't really exist. The key is not to say "all advertising is bad" or "anything goes", but to look at each situation and say "Does this enhance the experience or detract from it?".
    • I can agree to this on some level. I remember Jet Moto 2 having Mountain Dew billboards on the sides of the track, or racing games with billboards on the track walls. I remember Parasite Eve 2 had a couple of coca-cola references, notably a few soda can machines and like one item bearing the coke label (I believe it was a keychain with a coke bottle cap attatched to it).

      In my mind, stuff like that is fine. It's not obtrusive or in my face. Heck, You Don't Know Jack's online game had commercial breaks fo
    • Thinly veiled attempt to promote adware.
      An elf with Brand Name Jeans/Pants would not detract anything,just promote the product.Its all seems like advertising got new venue,
      Advertising textures,Objects,They Affect you subconsciously,making you to remember it (a sort of subliminal message),viewing it dozen of time in games.Training your brain to recognize brands and products,is even Easier when they fit with Surroundings.
      look at banners at top of some video games :you don't associate them with game,you ignore
  • ... so long as it fits into the world. The best solution for all of this is to make more present day/post-apocalyptic MMO's. So, uhh, more post-apocalyptic games in general? Please? Fallout 3, come out soon?
    • I was just thinking how ads for present day products would rock in Auto Assault []. Not only does it go with the post-apocalyptic theme - if you don't LIKE the ad you can just blow it to pieces. Sure it will respawn but then you can blow it up again.

      I wouldn't be bothered at all if I they used advertising on old billboards in that game (which by the way is a rather fun MMORPG).
  • because they will be full of ads anyway...
  • I have always been a little mixed on this one. On one hand, you have the case that people have made. A modern game, with vending machiens showing fritos and Pepsi is probaly better than machines showing cornies and nasal blaster cola drinks. I have found some of the names are funny, but usually they are jaring. In Burnout, you have some real ads (axe, I think). They ADD to the experience. I really don't mind that all. I remember back in the Q2 days, a buddy found a coke texture, and put it on a billbo
  • big business ads in games will spark a major jump in mind-reading technology. Im tired of getting up off the couch and walking 5 feet to order a pizza. Just send the thing to me dammit.

Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.